THE IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT AND PRESENT PRESIDENT‘S COUNTER TERRORISM EFFORTS IN NIGERIA.

THE IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT AND PRESENT PRESIDENT‘S COUNTER TERRORISM EFFORTS IN NIGERIA.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

One of the major setbacks to development in Nigeria is insecurity. Until very recently, plethora of explanations on the slow pace of development in Nigeria tends to pay infinitesimal attention to the centrality of security to national development. It is no surprise therefore that since 1999 when Nigeria returned to civil rule, insecurity tends to have hampered the nation. Security is evidently the pillar upon which every meaningful development could be achieved and sustained. Whilst Nigeria is endowed with abundant resources, negligence to numerous challenges of insecurity of the environment appears to have created porous security condition that engendered violence and retards development. The Nigerian economy is presently affected by insurgency.

According to Ladan (2012), insurgency refers to a violent move by a person or group of persons to resist or oppose the enforcement of law or running of government or revolt against constituted authority of the State or of taking part in insurrection. Insurgency as defined above becomes a violation to the Nigerian Constitution, Criminal Law and Nigeria‘s international treaty obligations in the following circumstances: when it constitutes an attack on defenceless civilians and their property resulting into injuries, loss of lives and property as well as forced or massive internal displacement of people out of their habitual places of residence; when it drives business/investors (local and foreign) away from an insecure nation; when it constitutes the elements of any of the following domestic and international crimes punishable by law: Treasonable felony, terrorism, murder, crimes against humanity and genocide (Ladan, 2012).

The Nigerian state is caught in the crossfire of national insecurity arising from terrorism. The most prominent of these, and one whose activities have had far-reaching destabilizing effect on the polity, is the Boko Haram sect. The Boko Haram sect, who uses the Taliban and al-Qaeda style terrorist tactics of suicide bombing and targeted assassination, is responsible for thousands of deaths since it declared war and engaged in armed insurgency in 2009. The sect has targeted and bombed state institutions, the United Nations building as well as many Christian worship centres, kidnapped innocent children in furtherance of its avowed objective of deploying terror to achieve the islamisation of the Nigerian state (Omale, 2013).

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This study relies on the technique of content analysis as it looks at the imminent security danger posed by terrorism in the light of the present onslaught and the extent it has shaped development trajectories in Nigeria. It is the opinion of the study that security avails the opportunity for development. This research will explore the extent to which strategic intelligence is utilized within Nigeria and whether it could be used to identify terrorism and other national insecurities within the country. In this study, the researcher will obtain qualitative views and opinions of strategic decisions makers on their use of strategic intelligence. It is, however, generally viewed that the use of a strategic intelligence framework could greatly enhance decision-making. By understanding the extent to which strategic intelligence is utilized in countering terrorism in Nigeria, and the benefits or problems that are experienced by implementing and using strategic intelligence by our past and present presidents we can comprehend the value that strategic intelligence adds in the decision making process.

The originality of this work concludes in the identification and utilization of the most important factors of a strategic intelligence framework that was used and is still used by former president Olusegun Obasanjo and present president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in combatting terrorism which is one of our major insecurity problems in Nigeria. Consequently, this research work is designed to evaluate the counter-terrorism efforts of both President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

1.2         STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The major challenge of Nigeria‘s national security is the containment of diverse manifestations of violence spearheaded by various rogue groups. The major group in contemporary Nigeria that has stretched the resources, expertise, patience and even the competence of Nigeria‘s security apparatuses to the limit, both individually and collectively, is the Boko Haram sect. The sheer number of deaths arising from bomb attacks orchestrated by the Boko Haram far outstrips any other cause of death in Nigeria, including epidemics (Bankong-Obi, 2012).

One of the shortcomings of Nigeria‘s security management is its pro-realist orientation that accords the deployment of force to areas where there is insecurity. This is a reactive approach, and not a proactive approach to curtail insecurity. Thus, the strategy of choice among national

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security managers is the use of force in various guises to subdue those identified as threatening national security. But the government‘s supposed superior force has not rolled back the menace of insecurity which creates the impression that the government is not doing enough to secure the people. This mind-set led Bankong-Obi (2012) to attribute Nigeria‘s intractable security challenges to government‘s apathy towards exterminating the terror group and inefficiency on the part of the security agencies as well the incapability of our heads of state. The Boko Haram sect poses a security challenge that is alien to Nigeria‘s regular security problems. While the use of force might have worked in the past, it has proved inefficient in the case of Boko Haram. This is so for four major reasons: one, the Boko Haram uses al-Qaeda-style terror strategies, which combine suicide bombing, targeted assassination and guerrilla strategies to unleash violence on the polity; two, the sect has diffuse leadership system, making it impossible to initiate dialogue; three, its ideology is anchored on irrationality driven by utopian anarchism; and lastly, it has shifting membership that is patently faceless. The anarchist bent of the Boko Haram worldview is validated by its bomb attacks on Christian worship centres as well Muslims considered as not practicing orthodox Islam (Onuoha, 2012).

The persistence of bomb attacks by the Boko Haram sect despite an all-out deployment of force by the state and the clamour by Nigerians for the government to find a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity appeared to have swayed government towards the adoption of non-military option of amnesty. The present amnesty being proposed by the Jonathan administration seems to be driven by narrow political considerations. Amnesty is not imposed by fiat but emerges through negotiated arrangement based on certain defined conditions. The government had unequivocally set those conditions earlier namely, that it would not negotiate with ghosts, due to the sect‘s faceless leadership and membership; and that the sect must present its basis of grievances as a platform for dialogue (BBC, 2012; Guardian, 2013).

The study acknowledges that amnesty is a political tool designed to stop violence and restore peace but argues that it must be driven by the tenets of justice. The study further seeks to know the measures that have been taken by our past and present presidents in combatting terrorism and if it is enough and why is it not effective as terrorism is still very much part of our nation and security is still very far from us.

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1.3         OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The broad objectives of this study is to enlighten us on what our leaders have done and are still doing to combat terrorism in Nigeria and why their efforts have not reflected in the actions of terrorists in the nation but rather booming them. However, the specific objectives of this study are:

·         To view the efforts of our past and present presidents on counter-terrorism.

·         To know why terrorism  during Obasanjo regime was not as pronounced as it is in

Jonathan‘s regime.

·         To know why the efforts under the government of Jonathan is not reflecting in attacking terrorism in the nation.

·         To know the objectives of the terrorists against the government and leadership of Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan.

·         To give a comparative analysis of the government of the immediate past and present presidents in respect to counter-terrorism.

1.4         RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This research work seeks to find answers to the following questions:

·         What does strategic intelligence have to do with counter-terrorism?

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